When you think about winter, you hopefully think about a comfy evening in your warm home. But once in a while winter doesn't feel like going along with our plans, and we're left shivering in our own homes. You might not be able to stop a blizzard from blowing through, but you can prevent your heating from being unprepared for winter. Nobody wants or deserves a broken-down furnace, which is why we made this checklist for getting your HVAC system ready for winter.
Five Ways to Prepare Your HVAC for a Cold Winter
1. Cover Your Outdoor Unit and Clear the Space Near It
Since most HVAC systems have an outdoor condenser unit to discharge heat, you'll want to see to it that the area surrounding it is free of any yard debris. Clear 5 feet of space or so from any plants or objects. It's also smart to make sure it's covered by a piece of tarp or similar material over the winter. This keeps ice and other debris from getting inside the condenser.
2. Rinse or Replace the Air Filter
Always evaluate and clean out your air filter, customarily placed in your furnace's indoor air handler. Dust, pollen, animal dander and many other kinds of debris can slowly build up in the air filter. If it grows unchecked, your heating could lose efficiency and potentially even become a fire hazard. A clean air filter helps air to flow easily, sustaining sufficient ventilation and helping keep indoor air quality high. To enjoy the most benefit from your filter, make sure to clean or replace it every couple of months or in line with manufacturer instructions.
3. Clean the Blower
The blower is crucial to your Lennox furnace, and as an essential component it can accumulate a lot of wear and tear. Cleaning it once in a while will help maintain strong performance. Vacuum the area next to the blower and rub the blades with a microfiber cloth for optimal airflow. If you notice any strange noises or can't get any circulation from the vents, hire a professional technician to check your blower.
4. Look for Gaps or Dents in Your Furnace
Make sure that your furnace doesn't have visible damage on the inside or outside units. A hole in the air handler or a large dent in the condenser unit outside could play a role in all kinds of comfort problems, like heat leaking out before it reaches your ductwork. If there is obvious damage, consult your local technician at Miller Climate Control LLC about inspecting the system before the temperatures begin to drop. This way you can avoid letting a small flaw in the system turn into a major problem.
5. Test Your Furnace Before It Gets Too Cold
It's always practical to make sure your furnace is functioning properly before its busiest season. If not, your heating may be unequipped for the first significant drop in temperatures. Conducting a test run of your heating can offer you the opportunity to recognize potential problems early, while they're still easier to solve. This also burns away any dust that may have accumulated in the air ducts over the fall, getting rid of that burnt smell. When your furnace is in working order, you can sled away from these HVAC worries.
A Well-Maintained Furnace Is a Great Way to Welcome Winter
Winter weather should be heading this way before you know it. If you spend some time to get your furnace prepared ahead of time, you can spend the rest of the season enjoying the holidays, sipping hot cocoa or spending time with your family inside a warm, cozy home. Remember to follow the tips above to get your home ready for next winter!